Billy Joel’s Honesty
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Download sheet music online: Joel: Honesty
Billy Joel – Honesty
Music video by Billy Joel performing Honesty. (C) 1978 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.
How do you answer questions about honesty to a child? We are teaching absolute honesty to our child; however, he is very aware of thins and asks difficult questions. For instance, if we are not under the speed limit at any time, he will ask why it is not considered dishonest to break the law in this instance.Another example: I nearly fell off the roof while working one day and luckily I was fine; however when my wife asked me how everything went I told her it was fine because it did not make sense to concern her with the fact that I nearly got seriously injured. My child is not aware of this, but this brings up the questions about selective honestly which we all know we all do.So, when trying to teach lessons of honesty to children, how do you handle these situations (or explain them) without seeming like a hypocrite?
Download sheet music online: Joel: Honesty
Absolute honesty.this isn’t a term I’ve heard of before.I don’t think omitting something that doesn’t affect the outcome of the story is lying, or being selectively honest. Just like on a reality television show, parts are cut out that don’t affect the results. When you ask him how his day was, do you expect him to tell you every single thing, including what time he went to the bathroom or how many times he sneezed? Probably not. Leaving things out that don’t affect the outcome is okay, but if he didn’t tell you he got into trouble for being unruly, that’s not okay because that is something you need to know.
Theres a difference between teaching honesty to a child, and explain all of life for every situation. What he needs to know is to be honest in all he does, he will grow to understand honesty in circumstance as he grows, and by your teaching him. When we drive we drive 5 over the speed limit, because thats what the law allows. So long as we’re not driving wrecklessly, or with abandon, its not illegal. And in most cases, being the slow one on the road means you’re causing trouble for other drivers. This opens up a whole knew aspect of parenting, and of development for him, and its a tedious time for both. He needs to know that you’re the adult, and he’s the child. A lot of the time kids will point out things like that because they dont think you’re capible of being the adult. You can assure him that you do not break laws, and you are aware of the speed you are going. And then direct him into a different activity. As far as nearly falling off the roof, you didnt lie. Your told her everything was fine, and as you walked in the door, it was. The job was completed, and you walked away unharmed. It would have been a lie if you were broken, something else was broke, or the job wasnt completed. You’re not raising a robot, you’re raising a child with proper reasoning skills. If everything was always only taken at face value there would be no time or emotion left for living.
I did not stress “absolute honesty” to my child, because that is not how the real world operates. I think that sets an unrealistic expectation, and I do not want my child to be disappointed by me, and then get out on his own, and be disappointed by LIFE. I would encourage telling the truth, definitely, but be realistic about it, and know that he is going to succumb to human nature, and needs to learn through his errors and experiences.
Kudos to you for taking this approach! You obviously have a very bright child and kudos to him for being so thoughtful and inquisitive (likely how he got to be so bright in the first place).As for his questions, I would answer them, in turn, with absolute honesty. When you are caught speeding, that is a form of dishonesty and he called you on it. My response to him would be that you aren’t perfect (obviously, no human is) and speeding (for most people) is a bad habit that you will work toward breaking. Then follow through with that.As for the roof incident, I am glad you are ok! I do agree with the above poster, though. In this case, the fall didn’t affect the outcome of the project or your day, and so it isn’t dishonest to leave that fact out. (I would have mentioned it, but I talk too much! LOL) Whenever your son asks you about these things, the best response, in my opinion, is to give it some thought and then offer a very honest, straight-forward answer. You both will grow to be better people for it.
As an honest person, married to an honest person, explaining situations to our son was always hard. He considers breaking a promise, or a change of plans, to be us lying to him. And the one time I really did lie to him (it was necessary), he uses as an excuse to never believe me or trust me again.The therapist says that the people who are most honest end up with the least honest kids. Even after lecture after lecture about how we are family and families don’t lie to each other, this child, 17, lies out the left and out the right. Mostly it’s to cover up something he’s done that he’s not supposed to or to get out of work. We think he lies to his teachers, too, but we keep in close touch with them so that if assignments aren’t turned in we can get them completed. But unless Joel wants to do his homework, we really have very little way to make him, because even if the teacher passes out a syllabus, they get off schedule. “Oh, we did that today in class.” We just can’t tell.You have an additional problem, because you are trying to teach your son what “lying by omission” is. You’re right, your wife didn’t need to hear that information, but he’s right that you didn’t give her the full answer.My son is an EXPERT at that. If you don’t go 20 questions and ask every possible tittle of what could have happened, you will never find out what really happened, and even if you do, it may not be true. And the next time you ask, he will give a quick lie to avoid the 20 questions.The therapist tells us that Joel lies because we’re not allowing him the freedom a 17 yo deserves. And that is true. He has proven himself in some cases to be irresponsible. The last time I turned him loose to go anywhere on his bike, he got hit by a car, and it was his fault. Brain surgery, $45K (we only paid $5K).It’s a constant struggle and I don’t know the answer, maybe you need to explain the different types of lying to your son. For instance, at church, though you think it, you don’t say, Mrs. Cummings, that dress is hideous! Did you get it from Goodwill? Instead you might say, Mrs. Cummings, you look well today. There’s something cheerful about you.I’ve written a book, haven’t I? I am a writer by profession, though don’t judge my writing by this very un-edited letter. And I haven’t given any real answers. I hope that my perspective and personal experience are in some way helpful to you. My hope is that the honesty of the parents, the role models they’ve been, will be enough for the child to reach adulthood with honesty in their pocket.
Absolute honesty is impractical and rather absurd. You created this situation.The point is to teach our kids not to lie to get out of trouble, or to harm others. A lie told to prevent spoiling a surprise, or to spare someone’s feelings, is a commonly accepted and socially responsible act. I try to teach my daughter the difference between kinds of lies. We basically have two kinds of OK lies in our house:1) “Christmas lies” – lies you tell because you can’t cant tell the truth yet, or it will ruin the surprise.2) “Happy lies” – truths you withhold to spare someone’s feelings. Like NOT telling grandpa he’s getting fatter, not telling your teacher her haircut is bad, etc.Your falling would fall under the second category – it wasn’t worth upsetting your wife, in your opinion, so you withheld that information.And quit speeding with your kid in the car. He has every right to bust you for that. 😉